Comparison has taught me a lot. It’s shown me how destructive it can be! When I give it the power to do so and when I let it rule, it becomes a doorway into things like devision and depression. Not a pleasant way of living.
In the past year of my life, I experienced comparison reaching a point where something had to be done about it. I was grieving after I experienced a miscarriage and anger was very present in my day to day life. I wanted what others around me had, a baby that I could hold and see grow up. I felt like things were so unfair because people close to me were getting just that. My eyes were seeing things I didn’t want to see and my heart was not in a place where I could understand all the questions that started with “why”.
I was so consumed with pain and allowing comparison to lead, I cut family off. I didn’t want to communicate or be around certain people because they were getting the very thing I deeply desired. I put up walls and didn’t want to deal with it any more. It was the only thing I knew to do. I had thoughts of just wanting to die… I wanted to escape the emotions and I was just over living in my reality. It wasn’t pretty but it brought me to a place that I had never been, a place of discovery and surrender. I couldn’t do it on my own any longer. I needed Jesus and that’s where I went.
With Jesus, I realized what an opportunity I had. I got to see how far back my feelings went and where they stemmed from. I discovered where these nasty roots where placed inside of me and when lies were believed. My eyes were opened and I saw that comparison was presented the very day I was born and it ran its cycles in my life for more than 25 years and I just turned 26, so that is almost my whole life.
I was compared to my sisters which led to my comparing myself to them. I used comparison with friends in school from as young as 5 years old and continued this into my adulthood. I constantly questioned my beauty, intelligence, style, creativity and, in moments, my life. I looked at what others had or didn’t have, how they carried themselves, what their lives looked like and I didn’t always see what I had, what I was gifted with, and who Jesus made ME to be. And when I did see what I had or what I was gifted with, I would see the other side of comparison and feel prideful or better than. I would feel that I was superior in an area and that would boost my “self confidence” and I’d operate out of a selfish pleasure. The pattern involved doubt or pride, frustration or arrogance and separation was really the only thing it did for me. It kept me from trusting others and having healthy relationships.
Discovering this cycle and seeing it for what it was, I experienced so much understanding. I felt the “whys” being answered one by one. Jesus was so patient with me and held me through it. I could see how one lie transformed into a mindset that was allowed to have ground within me. I was ready to trade it all in with Jesus and see what He had for me in this place! As ugly and hard as it all felt, I am so thankful that it all came out. It wasn’t going to be stuffed any longer and it wasn’t going to be tolerated moving forward. I was so ready to walk out repentance and the truths that Father intended for me to have all along.
On this journey with Jesus, I found myself in a place where I got to choose to forgive and what a key that is! Probably the key that has been my most useful tool and has opened a gateway to so much freedom for me. Forgiveness has lifted what felt like super heavy weights off of me. Forgiving myself, family, friends and bystanders opened so much space within me and I could now operate from a place of grace. I got to take ownership and I didn’t want to blame others. This is where apologizing became urgent. I wanted those around me to know that I valued them. I thanked them for being a safe place for me to be angry and put the walls up. Their patience and graciousness is something I am forever grateful for. It was amazing that Jesus knocked my walls down and those precious, important people were still standing there when I was ready to break free. I am so grateful they used forgiveness too and gave me the space to get healing.
United Not Divided
In the midst of comparing and allowing it to run its course time and time again, I didn’t see the beauty of others and I really didn’t see the beauty in myself and like I mentioned before, if I did, it was from a place of pride. But I see it now! My life has changed in the best way because now when I see others around me, I see them for them. I recognize and appreciate their beauty, talents and experiences, all because Jesus showed me how. He showed me that we were all made differently, none of us the same and that is what is so incredibly amazing about His people. He showed me that we are all gems in a necklace. The light hits us all uniquely, our colors are of variety, our purposes and our stories are all completely distinct and we are all connected by Him, through Him. We work together because of Him and because we are together we are that much more stunning.
Comparison broke the necklace, split the gems up and put them on different shelves but I learned that Jesus didn’t intend for them to be separated. His gems are not to be divided but united under His Light, being seen for exactly who He made them to be.
Jesus also showed me this beautifully wrapped up present encompassed with a red bow. The present represented someone else’s life and experience and the red bow was this very sweet embrace. I kept hearing that word over and over, embrace embrace embrace. That word holds so much peace for me. The definition of that word is exactly what the red bow was doing to the present, supporting it willingly and enthusiastically. That is what I am able to do now, wrap others up in embrace. I get to embrace them for who they are, embrace their story, and embrace their life experiences. It’s so fulfilling and such a joy to be able to do.
Stepping out of the trap of comparison and stepping into embrace has been a game changer for me. I am filled with such excitement when moving forward! I no longer place my focus on comparing myself to those around me or those around me to myself. I actually see people and I hear them for them. I appreciate those around me even more and their experiences no longer scare me. I see that Jesus has given us different lives to live and purposes to fulfill and there is so much beauty in that. I no longer shy away from those around me but I get to draw near to them. I get to value them and I value myself even more. I see that I am made uniquely me and there is no one else who will ever be me. I get to be me because no one else can. What a gift that is!
I thank Jesus for giving me this opportunity and being right by my side. He has given me such incredible gifts and equipped me with so much more as He Rewrites My Story!